MALDEF celebrates confirmation of 1st Latino Supreme Court justice

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There’s a celebration going on at the downtown L.A. offices of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund. KPCC’s Shirley Jahad says a group of Sonia Sotomayor supporters watched TV coverage of the Senate vote to confirm the appointment of the first Latina to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Shirley Jahad: Cheers went up in the viewing room at MALDEF near 6th and Spring streets in downtown Los Angeles as the U.S. Senate confirmed Sonya Sotamayor to be a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

Judy Perez is president of the Latina Lawyers Bar Association. She says Sotamayor makes an extraordinary mentor.

Judy Perez: Pursuing a career in the law is difficult for anybody , but I believe its particularly difficult for Latinas and Latinas who share Sotomayor’s background. Our parents came to this country as immigrants. My parents don’t speak English. They struggled to provide an education for us just like her, and now when parents tell you you can do anything you want, it really does ring true.

Jahad: Several people gathered at MALDEF say the confirmation shows all Americans that the dream of working hard and getting ahead is alive in this country.